Incoming rant/theory about the emphasis behind these camera shots.
Pretend this is a “read more” because if you don’t watch BrBa you won’t care and if you aren’t caught up on the show to the (bullshit excuse for a) halfway point of Season 5, there are huge spoilers. Anyways:
In the Pilot, we see Skylar prepare breakfast on Walt’s 50th birthday in the top frame. Can’t remember if it’s directly stated now or later in the series, but this is a birthday tradition for the family. We never really think about this again until we see him put “52” on his own plate in the Season 5 Cold Open. We still don’t know why he’s going by a fake name, why he’s alone, or just about anything else regarding Walt at this point in the series, nor do we know anymore at the halfway point. The only thing this tells us is that it’s his 52nd birthday. During the height of Walt and Skylar’s tension, Walt turns 51 and is awkwardly presented with a “51”-less birthday breakfast. Walt Jr makes his mom do it anyway because he’s a shithead and can’t be in a single scene without either stuttering or making shit awkward. That explains these 3 frames. That’s not news to anyone who’s caught up, nor is it crucial info to anyone who’s still in the process of watching the show.
Here come the theories and spoilers:
When Walt kills someone on the show, he picks up some of their traits, ESPECIALLY in regards to food and drinks. Remember when we first meet Crazy 8? He’s making a sandwich and he cuts off the crust. Walt prepares him a sandwich in this manner when he’s got that sumbitch locked to the pole in the basement. After he kills Crazy 8 in the next episode, he starts making his own sandwiches like that.
[SPOILER TIME] Good ol’ Mike always drank his scotch on the rocks. Re-watch the bar fight between he and Walt and you’ll see that Mike’s drink has ice, Walt’s doesn’t. Walt drinks his scotch neat all throughout the series until AFTER he kills Mike. After Hank hears about the prison murders, he’s stressed out and when Walt enters the room, he grabs a bottle and pours drinks. “Rocks, right?” he asks Walt, to which Walt accepts. This is another food habit he’s picked up from a victim of his.
[Theory] In the cold open of Season 5, we see a disheveled, wedding band-less Walt eating alone in a diner and going by a fake name, Sky’s maiden name at that. He breaks the bacon and makes a “52” on his plate to symbolize that it’s his birthday, and maybe, just maybe, showing signs of a trait he picked up from his most recent murder victim, his own wife.